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Module 5: FASD Prevention

Indicated Prevention for Individuals With an FASD

Indicated prevention for individuals with an FASD primarily involves treatment of symptoms (see Module 6). Interventions with individuals with an FASD can help prevent secondary disabilities. Secondary disabilities are problems that arise after birth and may result from a lack of appropriate interventions. Secondary disabilities associated with FASD include disrupted school experiences, trouble with the law, confinement in mental health/substance abuse treatment/criminal justice facilities, inappropriate sexual behavior, substance abuse disorders, dependent living, and problems with employment. Appropriate interventions may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and special needs programs.

Several factors protect against secondary disabilities16:

African American family smiling
  • A stable, nuturing home for more than 72 percent of child's life
  • Diagnosis before the age of 6
  • No sexual or physical abuse or other violence
  • Consistent living situation for an average of more than 2.8 years in each place
  • Good quality home from age 8 to 12
  • Application and eligibility for developmental disabilities services
  • Basic needs met for at least 13 percent of one's life
  • Alcohol/drug abusers part of living situation for less than 30 percent of child's life
  • Driver's license (i.e., enhanced ability to transport self to appointments)
  • Adaptive Behavior Composite score ≥ 65
  • No caregiver after age 18 (believed to promote independence)

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